Courts

A 19-year-old Honduran man arrested after a traffic stop in Baton Rouge has pleaded guilty to transporting people who were in the United States illegally from Houston to New Orleans.

Gerson Garcia-Villanueva pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday for his role in the Aug. 21 operation. He was paid to transport eight people from various Latin American countries from Houston to New Orleans, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Garcia-Villanueva was arrested Aug. 21 after U.S. Border Patrol agents conducted a traffic stop in Baton Rouge. Garcia-Villanueva himself is in the United States illegally, according to the news release.

“This case highlights the superlative work done by Border Patrol Agents, Homeland Security Investigations, and the US Attorney’s Office as we work together to enhance border security in the Gulf Coast Region by disrupting and destroying smuggling operations which cause irreparable harm to our nation, ” stated Chief Patrol Agent Gregory K. Bovino, New Orleans Border Patrol Sector.